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DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup

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Product 302712
Starting Price: $74.99
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The DiMarzio PAF DP103 humbucker pickup has a smooth, almost voice-like quality and that intangible swell to the notes after attack. It possesses vin...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

Classic vintage tone without microphonic squeal.

The DiMarzio PAF DP103 humbucker pickup has a smooth, almost voice-like quality and that intangible swell to the notes after attack. It possesses vintage output and breathes freely with an open, warm character. Played flat-out through a non-master volume tube amp, the 36th anniversary PAF recreates the deep character of the great plug-in, turn-up and wail school of tone. Modern potting techniques and tight, consistent winding eliminates squeal and microphonics common to the original guitar pickups.

FEATURES

SPECIFICATIONS
Wiring: 4-conductor
Magnet: Alnico 5
Output: 250mV
DC resistance: 7.31
Year of introduction: 2008
Reviews
Questions & Answers View All
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
DiMarzioPAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup
 
4.7

(based on 25 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (21)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

94%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Improves sound (14)
  • Good quality (11)
  • Functional (7)
  • Easy to use (6)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Practicing (6)
  • Concerts (5)
  • Back-up (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (10), Professional musician (6)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Better Than what I had.

Put in neck position of Japanese Les Paul. Vantage VLP-500 (circa 1984)This is basically a metric version of a Gibson LP. Mahogany body, but with bolt on mahogany neck. Naturally...Read complete review

Put in neck position of Japanese Les Paul. Vantage VLP-500 (circa 1984)This is basically a metric version of a Gibson LP. Mahogany body, but with bolt on mahogany neck. Naturally a dark sounding guitar without much sustain and somewhat difficult harmonics especially at the 5th fret. I've owned this guitar for aprox 30 years and can't see getting rid of it since it plays excellent but has low resale value. I removed the original neck pick up (unknown brand but came with guitar from Matsumoku Factory) that seemed a bit muddy and lacked clarity especially high up the neck on the low E string. The DP103 is not the neck pick up Dimarzio recommended to me. Its easy to call and email them for good advice. I went outside their recommendation. But compared to the original the DP103 still gives better clarity to each note and took out some but not all of the muddy tone on the low strings. This is likely characteristic to the mahogany guitar body/neck and nickel wound strings. This pick up is an attempt to get classic LP tone and a match for the DP233 I put in the bridge. See other review on that. The low notes are still a little muddy but the high notes especially on the unwound strings sound great. I use a coil tap switch which gives me a decent Stratocaster neck type of tone for blues when needed. The DP233 and DP103 have a great coil tap single coil tone. Organic, chimey, open, airy and sparkly. With both pick ups on I can roll back the neck volume from 10 to 9 - 9 1/2 and get a real nice middle strat pick up sound. I never used to use the bridge and neck together but now I do with these pick ups. Installation was easier than anticipated. This guitar is now quite versatile with very decent tone. Very usable now where before I did not play this guitar much I certainly will now. It's like a different guitar that I'm already familiar with. I have Seymour Duncans with coil taps in another guitar so I did not want to duplicate the same/similar tone in this one. That's why I went with Dimarzio. It gives me better variation between guitars. But I can now switch guitars and have similar volume from my pedals and amps with either guitar.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

nothing to write home about

was looking for some new pup's to drop into my ibanez artist, never had Dimarzio but always heard great things, figured these would be way better than the stock Ibanez AH-1 pups...Read complete review

was looking for some new pup's to drop into my ibanez artist, never had Dimarzio but always heard great things, figured these would be way better than the stock Ibanez AH-1 pups ...ahhh no, very thin sounding, no warmth, no bottom end, no roundness, I guess I have no clue what a PAF is supposed to sound like, I never owned a 57 les paul, but really I can't imagaine they would sound like this, didn't the blues guys in England dig early pauls for expressive creamy tone, these are not it, very plain jane IMO, ended up exchanging them with Dimarzio for air nortons, which are much better than these IMO

Reviewed by 25 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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(14 of 15 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

True Sound

By Oski

from Atlanta, GA

See all my reviews

Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

I realize that Dimarzio tends to generally focus on their higher-output pickups, and that's what people seem to be playing these days, so I feel like part of a dying breed here(maybe not?). I have tried all kinds of pickups in my u.s. strat: seymour duncan pearly gates(too bright and fuzzy, no depth), dimarzio paf pro(not as bright, still no depth, no focus when overdriven), and dimarzio air zone(way too much bass for me, and frankly sounds very processed, really messy sounding when overdriven, especially when chording). Finally I decided to just go old school with my pickup and just let my amp(mesa boogie 50 watt) and, when I'm recording, computer software, take care of the gain and distortion, and I do play with a lot of both. Should've got this pickup years ago. Maybe it could be a tad hotter, but I really like they way the guitar resonates, almost like hearing the wood of the guitar itself vibrating. And maybe that's what I'm liking about this pickup; it really seems to give the true tone of the guitar. It's true what Dimarzio says, the sound is balanced. It's just a solid pickup, man. I don't know if I would really recommend this pickup to an inexperienced player or someone who only cares about completely unintelligible distortion. This pickup is about letting your personal sound and style come through, where I think higher output pickups really homogonize/sterilize people's sound, but hey, they let you play reallyreallyreally fast, right? Oooookay...

(10 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

AMAZING PICKUPS!

By MS862002539

from Canada

Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

Installed these in my Cort TS250 Les Paul Model.... UNBELIEVABLE! I'm not even kidding, these pickups are so tight, crisp and clean it's not even funny. I play in Church (Hillsong/Jesus Culture styles) And also Hard Rock to Metal these things sing! I'm very happy with this purchase.... quit scouring the net and reviews and BUY THEM! You will not regret it.
Amazing Sound!
Very solid build. Quality materials.
I mean this price for each! How can you beat that?

(8 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

PAF 36th Anniversary Neck

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

Playing an LP standard through Marshall VM w/1960a cab. I've tried the SD Jazz, '59, AlnicoPro2, PearlyGates & Dimarzio Breed, Evolution, AirNorton, PAFPro in the neck position. None of these gave my guitar the beef and dynamics it has now- for both clean and overdriven tone. A truly awesome pickup & the best I've tried. Mine is paired w/an Evolution bridge and they sound fantastic together.

(7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Still One of the Best.

By Big Jim 57

from USA

About Me Professional Musician

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Pros

  • Easy To Use
  • Functional
  • Good Quality
  • Improves Sound

Cons

    Best Uses

      Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

      DiMarzio started the replacement pickup thing. In the 1970's everyone used DiMarzio pickups. I have been using them since they came out. I am a lifelong guitarist and luthier. I also build amplifiers (ex-Soldano, ex-Ampeg). It would be difficult to beat a DiMarzio PAF for Classic Rock. All of the newer "boutique" PAF clones are way too expensive, and many of them do not sound right. The DiMarzios always sound right. I have owned more DiMarzios than anything else, and the quality and consistency are right on every time. I have also owned nearly every other pickup out there more than once, and I always come back to DiMarzio. Need more power than a PAF? The DiMarzio Super Distortion is the ticket. These pickups were modeled to sound good through a real Marshall amplifier from the 70's. That's the pro set-up. Folks who change their pickups and then play through a Line 6 or a solid-state Yamaha amp or something will not realize the benefits of a professional pickup.

      (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Great classic sounding humbucker

      By Pedalbored

      from USA

      About Me Professional Musician

      See all my reviews

      Ask me a question

      Pros

      • Cheap Compared To Others
      • Cleans Up Nicely
      • Good Quality
      • Great harmonics
      • Very Touch Sensitive

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Any Style Of Music
        • Neck Position

        Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

        I have this pickup in 2 guitars. I paired it with PAF 36th Anniv Bridge in my Gibson SG, and with AT-1 bridge in my Music Man BFR Petrucci. Balance is a little better with the PAF/AT-1 combination IMO. This pickup has a nice open sound. Works great for rythym and solo. Compared to the stock Gibson, the pickup is more clear and articulate with more of a vintage tone. Handles extreme overdrive without squealing and cuts through nicely. Compared to the stock Liquifier in the BFR, it is night and day difference. Much less compressed and it has less of the mid boost of the LF. Really lets the tone of the wood come through. I mainly play the JP6 guitars live, and I wanted one of them to have a more vintage sound. This pickup fit the bill perfectly !

        (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Very very nice

        By Spiff

        from Western US

        See all my reviews

        Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

        Put the DP103 with the DP190 in my Epi Les Paul Ultra. This pickup is amazing. It is not an extreme high output pickups so no one should expect extreme distortions out of it. Pushed hard thru a tube amp however, will give you loads of creamy distortion or thick warm cleans without any harsh top end. I had already tried Duncans and they are stone cold compared with these. I would recommend this pickup to anyone looking for an all-around vintage voiced pickup with incredible clarity and warmth.

        (7 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Amazing

        By Thomas-pn4RB

        from The mid-west

        See all my reviews

        Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

        I don't usually write reviews for anything, but I had to for this pickup. First thing's first, I play a heavily modified Epi Les Paul Standard through a tubescreamer, phaser, and delay. It comes through nice and clear when played through a heavily overdriven Fender tube amp (I mainly use a Fender Mustang amp for practice at home). It's sounds amazing clean with lots of fullness and clarity. It's very woody sounding and I feel like I'm hearing my guitar's true tone at it's best. Highs aren't at all harsh, the midrange is good and the bass isn't flabby like my previous neck pickup tended to be (a Seymour Duncan '59). My playing nuances are really noticeable with this pickup no matter what I'm playing which includes everything from "Layla" to "Master of Puppets", and I'm surprised at the pinch harmonics I can get. Also, the other wiring modes sound really great, and I use both just as much as the normal wiring mode; classic single coil tones plus parallel wiring (which is basically a slightly less powerful humbucker with more highs and mids). All in all, a wonderful all-around pickup. I highly recommend this pickup to anyone for all styles and for those wanting more from their guitar.

        (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Third time I bought this!!

        By Black Strat

        from New Jersey

        About Me Experienced

        See all my reviews

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Improves Sound

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

            This time I replaced the Gibson 490r with the dp103 and dp223 in the bridge. A great improvement! I have this in dp 103 and dp223 set up in my hh Strat and my hh tele . Same pick ups but slightly different in each set up . A huge improvement over fender black top hum-buckers.

            (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            My new favorite Pickup!

            By Mike

            from NJ

            About Me Experienced

            See all my reviews

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Functional
            • Good Quality
            • Improves Sound

            Cons

              Best Uses

                Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

                This is my new all time favorite pickup, the 36th and 36th bridge combo. I installed my first set with silver/nickel covers in my PRS McCarty and it brought new life back into that guitar. I liked the sound so much I decided to put them into my Ibanez RG prestige. The guitar is super versatile now and a big upgrade from the stock V7 V8 pu's. You can achieve great PAF tone that stays clear even under heavy distortion. I use these pu's for all styles of music and they are perfect, highly recommended!

                (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Incredible!

                By Roy

                from Baltimore Maryland

                About Me Experienced

                See all my reviews

                Ask me a question

                Pros

                • Easy To Use
                • Functional
                • Good Quality
                • Improves Sound

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Backup
                  • Concerts
                  • Practicing

                  Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

                  I have been through a lot of humbuckers and single coils over the years and purchased the dp103 for the bridge and the dp223 for the neck of my double humbucker strat. I only bought these because I saw them in my local music store and thought I'd try something new in this particular guitar I was building. I've never been into dimarzio, not for any reason, just always went with bareknuckle, Duncan or frailin pups. I had a Duncan 59 in the neck and a Duncan alnico II pro in the bridge of this guitar and was blown away when I first played this set of 36th paf buckers. I lean towards a 70s billy squire, dirty blues and classic marshall crunchy rock sound and these were a PERFECT fit! I tested them through an orange or15 head and an orange 2x12 cab and then through a 1959 slp marshall and a custom marshall 4x12 cab and in both cases I was floored. Beautiful Classic PAF bucker tone and that perfect classic rock grit! The best part was the price. I don't mind paying a lot for pickups if they are worth it to me but these were on the cheaper side so needless to say I was way beyond surprised at how good they sounded. I haven't tried them in my les paul but in this strat they kill! Well done dimarzio.. You have a new fan!

                  (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  4.0

                  Clear tone and coil tap is fantastic

                  By DeaconBlue

                  from Clifton Park, NY

                  About Me Experienced

                  See all my reviews

                  Ask me a question

                  Pros

                  • Excellent Coil Tapping
                  • Improves Sound
                  • Very Clear Sound

                  Cons

                  • Slightly Compressed

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

                    The stock pickups in my Godin flat five semi-hollow were tarnishing, so I put these in (bridge and humbucker). They were different from the old pickups and wasn't quite what I had envisioned so I wasn't sure whether I liked them or not, but after using them for a few months I am very happy I chose these. These do not breathe as well as the stock pickups but when the coils are split they cannot be beat. I have received compliments on how clear my tone is now. I have the beef when I need it in humbucking mode, and a less compressed and surprisingly authentic single-coil tone when split. My favorite is the neck split with the humbucking bridge so I highly recommend separate splits for each pickup.

                    If you are thinking about replacing your humbucking pickups and are hesitant due to the cost of the Seymours or Gibsons, I think you would be VERY happy with these.

                    (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    What I was looking for

                    By Gold Topless

                    from Los Angeles

                    About Me Professional Musician

                    See all my reviews

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Good Quality
                    • Improves Sound

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Concerts

                      Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

                      I bought one for the neck position of my Les Paul and loved it. So I bought another for the bridge. They sound amazing and look great. Nothing else to say.

                      (5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      great vintage sound

                      By 64540307

                      from nc

                      Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

                      Many players make the mistake of buying high output pickups that lack clarity and warmth. These pickups have both clarity and warmth-as bright as a single coil with the amp set clean and plenty of great tone and sustain with the amp overdriven.Plenty of output too.I have DP103s in both neck and bridge of a frankenstrat and am well satisfied

                      (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Review of PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup

                      By Maveric Matt

                      from New York

                      See all my reviews

                      Ask me a question

                      Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

                      overall this is a great pickup i reccomend it to anyone if you really want some good sound get this along with the dp 100 super distortion pickup
                      Dimarzio pickups are really good pickups and this one is very good no noise no issues what so ever
                      The sound is awesome its the perfect balance I have this pickup combined with my dp 100 super distortion pickup and it sounds great this pickup gives you a warm creamy clean sound along with the a good solid crunch
                      its awesome enough said

                      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      1988 Les Paul Custom

                      By Casino Reeves

                      from Atlanta, GA

                      About Me Experienced

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Good Quality
                      • Improves Sound

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Practicing

                        Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

                        I put these in a 1988 Les Paul Custom that I have owned since new. I have experimented over the years with different wiring; push/pull, full Jimmy Page, etc., but never with the pickups. The pickups that were in there were pretty hot and would never really play clean. I decided that I would try the DP103 in both the bridge and the neck position and I am very satisfied. They balance together really well. At the same time I pulled all of the JP wiring and put in a 50's wiring harness from a guy named Huddy on the Bay. I can now play much cleaner, but still get plenty of dirt when engaging the fuzz, distortion or overdrive pedals. They just create a cleaner canvas to work from. I am one that doesn't completely buy into the whole "boutique" hype. I enjoy great products at affordable pricing and these fall into that category. I am happy with the purchase

                        (3 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        4.0

                        Very good service

                        By Rodneyk33

                        from Vancouver, WA

                        About Me Novice

                        Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

                        The first pickup I received had a defect with the adjusting screw threads. I received a replacement with no hassle in a timely manner.

                        (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        Better Than what I had.

                        By Toby's Doghouse

                        from Albuquerque NM

                        About Me Experienced

                        See all my reviews

                        Ask me a question

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Easy To Use
                        • Functional
                        • Good Quality
                        • Improves Sound

                        Cons

                        • No real cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Backup
                        • Concerts
                        • Practicing

                        Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

                        Put in neck position of Japanese Les Paul. Vantage VLP-500 (circa 1984)This is basically a metric version of a Gibson LP. Mahogany body, but with bolt on mahogany neck. Naturally a dark sounding guitar without much sustain and somewhat difficult harmonics especially at the 5th fret. I've owned this guitar for aprox 30 years and can't see getting rid of it since it plays excellent but has low resale value. I removed the original neck pick up (unknown brand but came with guitar from Matsumoku Factory) that seemed a bit muddy and lacked clarity especially high up the neck on the low E string. The DP103 is not the neck pick up Dimarzio recommended to me. Its easy to call and email them for good advice. I went outside their recommendation. But compared to the original the DP103 still gives better clarity to each note and took out some but not all of the muddy tone on the low strings. This is likely characteristic to the mahogany guitar body/neck and nickel wound strings. This pick up is an attempt to get classic LP tone and a match for the DP233 I put in the bridge. See other review on that. The low notes are still a little muddy but the high notes especially on the unwound strings sound great. I use a coil tap switch which gives me a decent Stratocaster neck type of tone for blues when needed. The DP233 and DP103 have a great coil tap single coil tone. Organic, chimey, open, airy and sparkly. With both pick ups on I can roll back the neck volume from 10 to 9 - 9 1/2 and get a real nice middle strat pick up sound. I never used to use the bridge and neck together but now I do with these pick ups. Installation was easier than anticipated. This guitar is now quite versatile with very decent tone. Very usable now where before I did not play this guitar much I certainly will now. It's like a different guitar that I'm already familiar with. I have Seymour Duncans with coil taps in another guitar so I did not want to duplicate the same/similar tone in this one. That's why I went with Dimarzio. It gives me better variation between guitars. But I can now switch guitars and have similar volume from my pedals and amps with either guitar.

                        (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        Brilliant pickups!

                        By Smooghead

                        from Highlands, Scotland, UK

                        About Me Experienced

                        Pros

                        • Easy To Use
                        • Functional
                        • Good Quality
                        • Improves Sound

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                            Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

                            I have a couple of Les Pauls and a UK made Gordon Smith Graduate 60 (Les Paul) which I bought in 2008 and was fitted with Wilkinson Zebras. Overdriven it gave a great sound but clean was really muddy. So I decided to refit with the 36th Anniversary DiMarzio DP223 at the bridge and DP103 at the neck. Amazing sound difference. The guitar is now a tone monster. Absolutely everything I would hope for from a Les Paul, and I've been playing them for almost 40 years. The output is lower than previous - but all the tones are now in the right place. I now prefer the sounds out of this to those from my 1973 Gibson LP Custom ! I'm playing through a 5 Watt Fender Champ (Class A), a Marshall EL84 20/20 and a Peavey Triumph 60. I record via a Digitech 2120 (which also drives the Marshall 20/20) and a Marshall JMP1. The guitar and these pickups sound amazing through all of them !

                            I should add that I went for DiMarzio as I bought some of their pickups in the late 1970's and indeed still have several SDHB DP100s and a PAF and Dual Sound. I liked them at the time but age has gotten the better of me and I now like tone more than distortion. I now like to see the amp do its work rather than the pickup - if the pickup output is good quality, the amp will sound fine whatever. And this pickup (and the DP223) certainly produce a quality output. Try them - you will not be disappointed !

                            (3 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            2.0

                            nothing to write home about

                            By cogswell

                            from detroit

                            About Me Experienced

                            See all my reviews

                            Pros

                            • None

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Nothing

                              Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

                              was looking for some new pup's to drop into my ibanez artist, never had Dimarzio but always heard great things, figured these would be way better than the stock Ibanez AH-1 pups ...ahhh no, very thin sounding, no warmth, no bottom end, no roundness, I guess I have no clue what a PAF is supposed to sound like, I never owned a 57 les paul, but really I can't imagaine they would sound like this, didn't the blues guys in England dig early pauls for expressive creamy tone, these are not it, very plain jane IMO, ended up exchanging them with Dimarzio for air nortons, which are much better than these IMO

                              (3 of 18 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              3.0

                              Dimarzio PAF

                              By nobody special-KPP5u

                              from Indiana

                              See all my reviews

                              Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

                              I first bought this pickup about eighteen years ago,and I've been using them since! I've used them in everything from teles to strats to les Pauls. These are very versatile pick-ups for any sound from blues to heavy metal! The only thing I don't like about them other than the warble from the bass strings(typical of Gibson,and similar humbucking pick-ups)is that they have four conductor wires which I never use! I read about Eddie Van Halens' experiments with these back in the eighties and realized I could do the same! Now I DO NOT recommend tearing your brand new pick-ups apart! I do take some of the windings off to create a thinner sound from the bass strings, so that I get a smooth sound in the overdrive channel on my Fender champ 12 without muddy over- tones! I am a luthier ,and have been doing this for eighteen years straight! I'll rewrap the coils,and wax pot everything again,so that it looks the same as before! I can rewind pick-ups,just NOT make them! This saves me a lot of time! I get the pick-up I want,with the sound I want,without spending a lot of time,or money trying to find that"perfect pick-up"!

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